Time for a Custom Install Revolution
8/28/2012 6:31 AM
"People don't buy what you do. They buy WHY you do it."
This quote from Simon Sinek has fundamentally changed the way I look at the world and the way I do business. If you have not seen the video
of his presentation on Ted.com
, then I recommend you do it right now. As in, right now. Don't wait. See you in 18 minutes.
So what is your Why? Why do YOU get out of bed in the morning? I believe that for most of us, we got into this business because we were moved by it. I've heard some of these great stories from fellow custom integrators (feel free to share yours in the comment sections below). And for most of us, the reason we're here today wasn't because we wanted to be rich. It was because some experience moved us and we wanted to recreate that experience for others.
So why isn't that what we sell? Why have we become TV pushers and price matchers (now before you get all angry at me, I know that this isn't everyone; I know some of you out there have cracked the code). But as an industry as a whole, we are not approaching this from the right angle.
What is someone more likely to buy?
“A large 240hz 1080p smart TV with matching Blu-ray player and 5.1 surround system with a remote programmed with macros...”
“A movie-like experience so simple to use that with the touch of one button the lights dim as the TV turns on and the movie begins to play?”
People are willing to pay more for solutions—solutions that work. People want an experience that is easy. We, who are so driven by our knowledge, tend to over-complicate, because sometimes we know too much for our own good.
As an industry we need to embrace the idea that, "People buy WHY you do it." We need to stop selling products and start selling solutions. We need to start a revolution. There is much power in the numbers of CIs in our field. Together we can be a strong, unstoppable force. If the client needs a TV, then let them go to Walmart. If a client wants a system that works with wires that you cannot see, magic boxes that bring your pictures, movies, and memories right to your TV screen, then they should visit a custom integrator. Give us your technology challenged, your solution-hungered, and your poor wife who can't work what you have now.
I am talking passion. We do (or at least did) this because we loved it. Remember the first time you got goosebumps during a CEDIA audio demo? Or that movie that choked you up because you became so lost in the moment? This is our history. Where movies came from... As silent films, created to escape life. Today, just as much as ever, we crave that escape. Work no longer ends at 5 p.m. You can no longer "leave" the office. So when you finally do get to sit down and watch a movie or listen to music, most of us are looking for an escape from reality. This is what people will buy. This is our WHY.
I believe people want to be moved. If they don’t watch movies, then maybe they want great music at their fingertips. Or maybe it is just the simplicity of control. For mom, it could be access to the weather before she gets the kids ready for school. Dad might prefer the easy ability to listen to traffic while he pours his morning cup of coffee.
We need to come together and create a common WHY. The time is now, in an age of lowest price, internet shopping, and fly-by-nights. Let's start the revolution and that begins by asking the question, Why?
1 comment(s) so far...
By Victor Ciccarone on
8/28/2012 12:57 PM
Re: Time for a Custom Install Revolution
WOW, that was a really good video and the following article...I agree with the fact that you need to sell WHY you do what you do. Its the fundamental reason the clients should be hiring you in the 1st place. Lets face it as Custom AV Dealer / integrators we all sell the same products basically. What makes us differant is the system design and implementation of it based on our experience. As the article suggested I started my company becasue for one I have been messing around with Audio video equipment for as long as I can remember. Its been something thats been a part of what I do ever since I was a little kid learning why this stuff works the way it does and I knew one day I would be making a living with it. How many people do you know that dont go to WORK they go have fun. I love what I do and what I can deliver to the client where as others can deliver the same thing but most of the time its more complicated for them to use. I can deliver simplicity and system perfection. for me system design and implementaion is a natural thing. Lets face it, at this point I dont know any CI thats in this business to get rich. Those guys that did made their money and are out of business as they had no business in this business...I think Heather is right, we need to start a revolution. We need to get the word out the potential customers that a custom AV dealer is not a scary place to go to for their needs. Its easy to find product online but the question Id ask is if its the right product? The revolution we need to start is to educate the public, our customers that we can do a better job then the online retailer and meet their needs without a big scary bill when its all over. That we can deliver excellence in system design and product representation and its doesent have to hurt! There will be plenty of people buying online because they want to save money, as Heather said, Let them do so, we problably cant help those people any way. Sell your self and company on why you're still in business and why you do what you do. I have clients that tell me they use me becasue they know I have a passion for this stuff and that Im not going anywhere. Ive obviously promoted this idea in the past and after reading this article it reminds me to continue to get the word out about WHY instead of WHAT!